A BUILDER-turned-chef prepares to open his first restaurant, bringing his homemade American cuisine to town.
Rae Truman of Silver End is set to open Phoenix Arizona at Bridge Street, Halstead tomorrow afternoon.
Rae and his wife Clare have lived in Essex for 18 years, Clare already owning the Buzy Beanz Bistro a few doors down from the restaurant.
After being a builder, Rae said he wanted a change of scenery and decided to open the restaurant to give something new to the city.
He said: “I’ve always been a builder, but I love to cook and create.
“We chose this kitchen because we felt Halstead was missing something homely.
“The city has Chinese and Indian restaurants, but they are not always for children. We wanted to give them recognizable, homemade dishes to savor.
Rae has been working on the interior renovations for about four months and hosted a successful tasting session last Sunday.
“It went well,” he said. “We received positive and honest feedback, and 90% were positive.
“We were full at 1 and 4 p.m., and meals came out within 25 minutes, which was good.
“Now the menus are being created and we are preparing for Friday.
“Deep down I’m a bit nervous, but with Sunday’s success we know what we can achieve and that makes me excited.”
Phoenix Arizona opens tomorrow, Friday, July 29.
The restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.